Every day brings worse news for New York’s once-lauded governor, Andrew Cuomo (D). Now it’s confirmed that the state’s two Democrat senators have joined in the calls for Cuomo to step down after multiple women have accused the governor of inappropriate behavior.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer officially called on Cuomo to resign Friday.
Schumer: “Cuomo should resign”
“Due to the multiple, credible sexual harassment and misconduct allegations, it is clear that Governor Cuomo has lost the confidence of his governing partners and the people of New York,” Schumer wrote in a joint statement with Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). “Governor Cuomo should resign.”
The startling statement comes following reports that a sixth woman has made allegations against Cuomo. A staffer reportedly has accused Cuomo of groping her last year, the Albany Times-Union reported on Wednesday.
A growing number of New York politicians, many of whom are Democrats, have been speaking out against Cuomo over the past few weeks, but as Politico put it, Schumer and Gillibrand’s statement represents “a dramatic escalation in the push to remove the governor from office.” Schumer had previously resisted calling on Cuomo to resign, indicating that the allegations should be independently investigated.
Democrats abandon Cuomo
Last year, Cuomo basked in the admiration of Democrats across the nation who praised his opposition to President Donald Trump. Now, Cuomo is well on his way to infamy even amongst his own.
Beyond the sexual misconduct allegations, Cuomo’s response to the coronavirus has also triggered calls for his resignation.
Thousands of vulnerable New Yorkers died in nursing homes last year after Cuomo instituted a policy directing nursing homes to accept recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals. And recently, reports found that Cuomo’s administration significantly underreported the number of nursing home deaths in order to avoid criticism from the Trump administration.
Cuomo refuses to step down
Cuomo remains defiant, although he described the latest accuser’s allegations as “gut-wrenching.”
In a press conference Friday, he refused to resign, saying, “People know the difference between playing politics and bowing to cancel culture. There are now two reviews underway. No one wants them to happen more quickly and more thoroughly than I do. Let them do it. I am not going to argue this issue in the press. That’s not the way it should be done. Serious allegations should be weighed seriously.”
“This is not the first time that we’ve had to walk and chew gum,” he added after a reporter questioned whether he could effectively lead the state through the pandemic amid the allegations.
Still, if Cuomo refuses to resign, he is up for re-election next year. Will New Yorkers trust him with the reins again after all this?